Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Kale 'Red Russian'
Botanical name: Brassica oleracea
Red Russian is kale variety originally from Siberia. It was brought to Canada in the mid-1880s. Red Russian has tender, red leaves with purple veins. Grows to 2 meters tall; 1 meter wide. Blue green oak leaf type brassica with purple veining. Very ornamental and very edible. Very thick stems can withstand heavy snows. Open pollinated heirloom from Russia. Cold hardy to -10C with very little protection. Plants will survive for years if you don't let them set seed. Will self sow and provide an abundance of greens. Leaves are sweet and tender. Use flowering shoots like rapini; turns green when cooked. Good substitute for Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Yummy.
How to grow
Sow 6 mm deep. Keep moist. Opt. germination temp: 15-25 C. Days to germ: 7-14. Culture: full sun; well draining average soil; moderate feeder start almost anytime; indoors Feb. for spring-summer greens or June to over winter to provide sweet tender leaves late winter/early spring.
High in Beta-Carotene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Potassium.
Red Russian Kale is sweeter, more tender and sturdier than other Kales and Spinaches and is perfect for soups and stir-fries.